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Document Abstract
Published: 1 Jun 2013

Climate Resilience and Food Security: A framework for planning and monitoring

An IISD working paper presenting a framework for analysing food system security and resilience.
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The International Institute for Sustainable Development has published this working paper on climate resilience and food security. While much of the prior work in this area has focused on the impacts of climate change on food production, food systems comprise of many more parts, including areas concerning access, utilisation, and stability. Increasingly, global markets can also affect food systems; such complexity requires broader analysis to identify weak links and breaking points. Such questions of resilience have not been well defined within food systems, with no conceptual tools to help analysts. In response, this paper examines an emerging conceptual tool designed to support analysis of community-level food security and resilience of food systems. The paper begins by outlining the theoretical foundations behind the framework the working paper proposes, before section two provides an overview of current approaches to understanding food systems. Section three looks at different approaches to understanding resilience, while section four lays out the conceptual framework itself. The framework presented has been built around the key elements of the food system, with the household, whose continued food utilisation is paramount, at the centre. Resilience is a system-wide characteristic however, and so multiple chains and connections must be considered. Food access, food availability, supporting resources and services, and supporting organisations and policies form widening concentric ‘rings’ around the household, each of which can be conceptually rotated to create combinations of factors to explore and test for resilience. The framework is designed to be tailored to specific contexts, and act as a mechanism to simplify and summarise these complex systems, as well as identify trends. Section five explores the application of the framework at the community level, first focusing on food security, then an analysis of resilience. These are illustrated in the two examples of the conceptual tool, the ‘spinwheels’, presented in the paper. The authors hope that this tool can be used to support analysis at both community and national scales to better understand resilience to climate change, and to improve and strengthen monitoring.
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S. Tyler; M. Keller; D. Swanson

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